sep 252012
 
Scientists Shed Light on Riddle of Sun's Explosive Events

  Four decades of active research and debate by the solar physics community have failed to bring consensus on what drives the Sun’s powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can have profound “space weather” effects on Earth-based power grids and satellites in near-Earth geospace.  A computer visualization of the Sun (red sphere) and its magnetic [continue reading]

sep 242012
 
Mars-Like Places on Earth Give Insights into Conditions for Life

  Life thrives on Planet Earth. In even the most inhospitable places – the freezing Antarctic permafrost, sun-baked saltpans in Tunisia or the corrosively acidic Rio Tinto in Spain – pockets of life can be found. Some of these locations have much in common with environments found on Mars, as discovered by orbiters and rovers [continue reading]

sep 202012
 
Did a Pacific Ocean Meteor Trigger the Ice Ages?

  When a huge meteor collided with Earth about 2.5 million years ago in the southern Pacific Ocean it not only likely generated a massive tsunami but also may have plunged the world into the Ice Ages, a new study suggests. An artists impression of a huge meteor colliding with Earth in the southern Pacific [continue reading]

sep 022012
 
Searching for Clues of Earth’s First Life on Asteroid

  The Japanese space agency JAXA plans to land a spacecraft onto an asteroid in 2018 to search for clues of how life began on Earth. An artists rendering of Hayabusa 2 approaching the asteroid 1999 JU3. Image Credit: JAXA   Hayabusa 2 will be JAXA’s second attempt at collecting material from an asteroid, after its first [continue reading]

sep 012012
 
Jupiter-Bound Spacecraft Changes its Orbit

  On August 30, navigators and mission controllers for NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter watched their computer screens as their spacecraft successfully performed its first deep-space maneuver. This first firing of Juno’s main engine is one of two planned to refine the spacecraft’s trajectory, setting the stage for a gravity assist from a On August [continue reading]

sep 012012
 
A New Perspective on the Moon's Formation

  The Moon is believed to have formed from a collision, 4.5 billion years ago, between Earth and an impactor the size of Mars, known as “Theia”. Over the past decades scientists have simulated this process and reproduced many of the properties of the Earth-Moon system; however, these simulations have also given rise to a [continue reading]